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mikelz777
10-23-2016, 11:55 AM
Have you bonded with [all] your uke[s]?

My first was a Lanikai LU-21C (concert)and I can still remember how excited I was to get it. It was a nightmare to play at first but I had a guitar store lower the action and and it played like a breeze! When I got my 3rd uke, I planned on selling it but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I've bonded with it and I love the feel of playing it. I think it sounds pretty good as well!

My 2nd was an Ohana CK42-R (concert) with a sinker redwood top, rosewood back and sides with maple binding. I love everything about it's looks and I love the history behind how sinker redwood came about and how it was harvested. The wood top has a great American back story. It's also got a great sound and I I've bonded with it as well but it took more time and I don't think I feel as deep a bond as I do with the Lanikai. Is that weird? It's a much better and more expensive uke. The Ohana gets more play but not a whole lot.

My 3rd uke is a Pono ATD (tenor) which is a beautiful, wonderful sounding uke but I'm still trying to bond with it. Lately I've been trying to play it exclusively. I want to learn finger picking so I've been self teaching myself on it hoping that will help me bond with it. It's not that I don't like it, I do but it's more like an ambiguous feeling. I haven't any real emotional attachments to it (yet). Maybe it's because it's a tenor. I think I prefer the feel of chording on a concert scale. Maybe it's because it's my 3rd uke and 3's a crowd? I'm still trying to sort out my feelings:
-Should I sell it and carry on with just 2 ukes?
-Should I sell it and replace it with a desirable concert? (I kinda have one in mind if I went this way.)
-Should I keep it for variety in size/scale/sound and continue to play it with the hope I bond with it in the future? What to do? What to do?

Have you ever had a uke that took a while before you bonded with it or is bonding something that happens early or probably not at all? Can one bond with more than 1 or 2 ukes? I can totally understand bonding with your first uke whatever it may be because it is your first and that feeling is something you'll never have again but what does it take to bond after that and how long should I chase a feeling that hasn't happened yet?

Ukulele Eddie
10-23-2016, 12:21 PM
I've owned quite a few ukes in the last 3 years (like ~50). Some I never bonded with, some I bonded with quite quickly or immediately. I, for one, am bonded with more than one uke.

Despite being the among the very best sounding ukuleles I had heard or played, it took me a bit to bond with my Hive initially. I think there are two reasons for this. For one, the neck is a tad thicker than my favorite shape. I knew this would be a non-issue with some playing time. The second and bigger reason, I believe, is it is strung linear and I really did not know any songs to get the most out of a linear uke. So it didn't get a lot of play the first six months. However, once I learned how to adapt a re-entrant song when needed and I started working on a tab specifically written for linear tuning, I played it a lot more. The result? I'm completely and fully bonded with it.

rpfrogner
10-23-2016, 12:25 PM
I had a custom ukulele built that I could not wait to receive! It was a several month build, and the day it arrived I could not wait to get home to see it. As I was driving home that day to finally see it I had a call telling me my best friend in the world had passed away. I just never bonded with that uke. It was beautiful and sounded great, but the timing.............

JackLuis
10-23-2016, 12:55 PM
I had a problem with my Caramel CT-100 tenor I bought last Dec. When I got it, I was a little disappointing with it. The wood was blonder than I had hoped and it sounded different than my first Uke a RT-102 travel tenor. But it was nice to play and LOUD so I kept playing it in rotation with my other ukes. Then I changed strings a couple of times and shifted it to G tuning, like my baritone and I found I liked the sound and the softness of the strings in G tuning. Now it is my go to Uke for most songs. It has a different sound than my RT-102, also in dGBE, but the CT-100 is catching up.

I have a Ohana CK-22 spruce topped concert I bought last summer that is in many ways a great little Uke, but ... I don't know if it is the spruce top or the C6 tuning but I can't get it. It plays well and easily, but somehow even though it is my most expensive uke I just can't fall in love with it. I keep playing it but I don't love it. I keep it in hopes that if I learn to finger pick it's responsiveness and crisp tone will make it bloom in finger picking. I even shifted my Carmel CC-100 concert back to high g in hopes that the Ohana's low G would draw me into it, but no despite the linear tuning, I still like my cheapy CC-100 a little better.

So cheer up, you are not alone in this. There is no accounting for taste, and even fat girls need love too.:D

DownUpDave
10-23-2016, 12:58 PM
I have sold off the ones that I have not bonded with. They were all good ukes and sounded great but most had shallow neck depths which I do not like. The ones I have kept (/more than three) have taken different lengths of time to bond with. I have found out I can love the sound but if the "playability" is not there I can never bond with it.

When I forget I am making the physical movements of playing and things just go on auto pilot then I know the connection is made and I have a keeper.

Steveperrywriter
10-23-2016, 07:10 PM
I own four -- one lives at my daughter's -- I play the others for different tones and feels, but and I love 'em all. Plan to keep them all. Not looking for any more.

janeray1940
10-23-2016, 07:20 PM
Have you ever had a uke that took a while before you bonded with it or is bonding something that happens early or probably not at all?

I've had a few "not at alls" over the years (all of which have been re-homed without regrets). I definitely had no attachment, sentimental or otherwise, to my starter uke, which I passed on to a friend as soon as I got something I liked better.

As for should you sell yours - if you have to ask, I think you're already halfway to a decision! When I've been on the fence about selling, my trick is to put it in its case and in a safe place for three months. If you don't find yourself hankering to play that uke during that time, it's pretty likely you never will.

Oh and - I'd say I'm bonded with three. One of those three doesn't get played nearly as much, but it has its place. No more than that for me, though.

cml
10-23-2016, 07:41 PM
No. The only one I've really bonded with and which I play the most is my KoAloha. I loved it from the first strum and every time I pick it up, I'm still amazed how good it sounds.

jimavery
10-23-2016, 09:52 PM
I can't say I ever expect to bond with a ukulele. Some I prefer playing more than others, but I'm happy playing anything (so long as it's smaller than a concert). Even the very cheapest ones I enjoy the challenge of getting an acceptable sound out of them.

Pueo
10-23-2016, 10:09 PM
I've got 10 ukuleles (and three guitars, a bass, and a double-neck 8-string steel guitar) and I have only passed on one instrument in my life - the 3/4 size classical guitar I learned on. I gave that to my best friend when I got my second guitar which I still have, and that was over 35 years ago...
I would say my first ukulele, a Lanikai LU-21 Tenor, I rather quickly outgrew but now it collects autographs, so I will definitely keep it.
I have two built just for me, a hand-me-down from my wife's late grandfather, and one I won in a raffle. I have some I love to play and others I wish I played more often and a couple I never play. I could never part with any of them though!
I think I will likely get one or two more, when I can afford exactly what I really want.
Until then, my Pono and my customs are just great!

Rakelele
10-23-2016, 10:38 PM
With most ukes, I am very excided on arrival. After that, it usually takes a while to really get to know it, put it into perspective and compare it to others. Some ukes inspire me to play, others not so much and I just pick them up every once in a while to not let them go unplayed. In my own experience, only time will tell.

Croaky Keith
10-24-2016, 12:05 AM
...... In my own experience, only time will tell.

I'm with you on that, some feel right straight away, others take a bit of time to get to know.

I have a few ukes, & I sometimes find the one I am liking at the moment isn't the right one for a particular tune, so then out the others come, until I find the one that makes the tune sound right to me at that particular time. :)

pulelehua
10-24-2016, 12:37 PM
It's funny. My second ukulele was a Mike Pereira custom Zebrawood concert pineapple. Then, deciding it was a bit too.... I don't even know, I got a Mya-Moe Maple and Cedar. It's a lovely ukulele.

But just the other day, when I went to record my arrangements of Christmas Carols, the MP sort of called to me. Not literally. I was just recording, and the Mya-Moe wasn't quite doing it. So, I thought, "I've only got one other option." (I'd given away my first)

And the MP seemed to sparkle somehow. It's also very different to play, as it has a wider nut, and so different string spacings. It's a fingerpicking dream.

Funny that this thread came up. :) Thanks.

NewKid
10-24-2016, 01:34 PM
I've released all my ukuleles except my LFDM tenor. There were some really great instruments in my collection but I'm much happier with just the one now. It's very liberating for me to not have to choose between ukuleles any more.

I had taken a year-long break from ukes and concentrated on mandolin but just last week the LFDM has worked its way back into my playing time.

Nickie
10-24-2016, 03:47 PM
"So cheer up, you are not alone in this. There is no accounting for taste, and even fat girls need love too."
Ahem, me thinks this sounds a bit....what, sexist maybe?
Well, I'm not gonna rake the poster to task for it, it's just that the sorry politics of late have made some of us gals a little nervous.

To get back to the topic.....
Yes, I have bonded. Out of 15 ukes, I've bonded with 2, and I still have them. I have a 3rd which I never bonded with because it sustained a warped neck, making it unplayable. I bonded with my old Kala that I bought from Mim about 6 years ago (geezus, Mim, have I known you that long?) probably due to the fact that it soothed so many anxious hospice patients, and really got me starting to play decently.
Also I recently bonded with my Cocobolo, I wouldn't trade it for any ukulele, anywhere, no way. It was built for me, and people have tried to talk me out of it, but I'm keeping it. When I play other ukes now, I think, um, well, it's nice, but I like mine better. Even if I don't SAY that....LOL.

kohanmike
10-24-2016, 09:05 PM
In the first year of playing ukulele a little over three years ago, I went through 16 ukes, all the same configuration; tenor cutaway with electronics (or I installed it). I bought for looks, trying to keep each a little different from the other. I then decided I would only keep the few that I really liked, so culled them down to four, I like all of them for one reason or another. I thought I had all the ukes I needed, but a few months ago I saw a brown burst on eBay that struck me, so I bought it. turned out to be nicer than I was expecting. Again I wasn't expecting to buy anymore, but after loosing an auction for an Ovation Applause, I bought a beautiful Godin Multiuke from the UU Marketplace to let go of my regret, I'm glad I did.

I've also been playing bass uke for almost two years and I'm up to 11 (two on their way). I've had them modified in some way or another to be more to my liking, so for now they're all keepers.

mm stan
10-25-2016, 01:35 AM
Not all ukes you will bond with, there will be some that may not work for you but..
There are many you can improve and improve yourself
Listen to the voice of your ukulele, and hear it talking to you... what am I missing?
Too thin of a sound, tone, or playability or tension of strings. Many can be altered with strings and tuning.
Or technique. Get a good set up first, change the nut and saddle too if needed
Happy Strummings

Pirate Jim
10-25-2016, 02:27 AM
mm stan, I hear you. My Uluru mahogany tenor was my go to uke for a good six months. Then, as my playing and my ear improved I noticed that the intonation was fairly poor, even at the 5th fret. I went through several brands of strings (assuming worn strings might be an issue) before replacing the heavily compensated stock saddle with a new one that I barely compensated at all. Intonation now really good but I'm having a dilemma - I've strung it low g with Thomastik Infeld CF-27 and CF-30 for the C and G strings. This is probably the best this instrument has sounded but I'm not enjoying the feel of the strings for some reason. It's weird because I have them on my Cordoba Mini and love them, just don't dig them on the tenor. Should I sacrifice sound for playing comfort or stick with it and get used to it (already had them on there a month or so).

Or, of course, I sell the Uluru and get an entirely new uke because getting new ukes is a whole lot of fun!

UkerDanno
10-25-2016, 04:42 AM
If we didn't bond, they're not around any more...

Rllink
10-25-2016, 05:20 AM
I can't say I ever expect to bond with a ukulele. Some I prefer playing more than others, but I'm happy playing anything (so long as it's smaller than a concert). Even the very cheapest ones I enjoy the challenge of getting an acceptable sound out of them.That pretty much sums it up for me. I only have two, and I like them both. But I've not bonded with them in some sort of emotional way. I just do not have emotional relationships with my ukuleles. I see that so many do, and I am not critical of it. In fact, sometimes I wonder why I don't have those warm feelings that a lot of people have. I like playing the ukulele and the music that I make, but it is more a fun and entertaining thing to do rather than some sort of love affair with my ukulele and my ukulele experience. Anyway, I'm not trying to be a downer, I just don't have feelings for my ukes.

mm stan
10-25-2016, 05:43 AM
mm stan, I hear you. My Uluru mahogany tenor was my go to uke for a good six months. Then, as my playing and my ear improved I noticed that the intonation was fairly poor, even at the 5th fret. I went through several brands of strings (assuming worn strings might be an issue) before replacing the heavily compensated stock saddle with a new one that I barely compensated at all. Intonation now really good but I'm having a dilemma - I've strung it low g with Thomastik Infeld CF-27 and CF-30 for the C and G strings. This is probably the best this instrument has sounded but I'm not enjoying the feel of the strings for some reason. It's weird because I have them on my Cordoba Mini and love them, just don't dig them on the tenor. Should I sacrifice sound for playing comfort or stick with it and get used to it (already had them on there a month or so).

Or, of course, I sell the Uluru and get an entirely new uke because getting new ukes is a whole lot of fun!

Aloha Jim, that's the delima, high tension strings provide clarity, but feel too high tension for comfort
Before you change to lower tension strings I would recommend you drop the tuning to half step, f#,b, d#, g#
Or two half steps to hear the tone and voice. F, A#, D, G. You will a bit of clarity, bit muddy but improve on
Comfort and playability also you will have a sweeter tone. Good luck
Heavily built ukes I used to think was a bad thing, but a good luthier can make the into richer tone, great substain
And resonation.
one mistake I do believe many new ukers make is getting rid of ukes they cannot play...I try to keep all of mine, many times
many new ukers blame the ukulele for their short comings... as you get better you will be able to play ukes you couldn't or didn't like before...also they mature too and break in
becoming many times better sounding ukes.. I have nothing about newer ukes but Id rather stick to some with age and broken in too

DownUpDave
10-25-2016, 06:59 AM
That pretty much sums it up for me. I only have two, and I like them both. But I've not bonded with them in some sort of emotional way. I just do not have emotional relationships with my ukuleles. I see that so many do, and I am not critical of it. In fact, sometimes I wonder why I don't have those warm feelings that a lot of people have. I like playing the ukulele and the music that I make, but it is more a fun and entertaining thing to do rather than some sort of love affair with my ukulele and my ukulele experience. Anyway, I'm not trying to be a downer, I just don't have feelings for my ukes.

I don't consider bonding a really strong emotional tie, like love or lust. For me bonding is feeling comfortable with the ukulele to the point where I can just play without too much thinking. The instrument is comfortable enough to become one with and I really enjoy the sound it produces. Other people might feel differently and probably do

Rllink
10-26-2016, 05:03 AM
I don't consider bonding a really strong emotional tie, like love or lust. For me bonding is feeling comfortable with the ukulele to the point where I can just play without too much thinking. The instrument is comfortable enough to become one with and I really enjoy the sound it produces. Other people might feel differently and probably doYou are right, it does depend on how you want to define bonding. Using your definition, I would have to say that I've bonded with both of my ukuleles.

BearMakingNoises
10-26-2016, 05:27 AM
No way. I bond with very few actually. I am down to one now. I went through many to get to this point but now I am actually thinking of picking up another tenor just for a different flavor from the soprano.

Pirate Jim
10-26-2016, 05:40 AM
Aloha Jim, that's the delima, high tension strings provide clarity, but feel too high tension for comfort
Before you change to lower tension strings I would recommend you drop the tuning to half step, f#,b, d#, g#
Or two half steps to hear the tone and voice. F, A#, D, G. You will a bit of clarity, bit muddy but improve on
Comfort and playability also you will have a sweeter tone. Good luck
Heavily built ukes I used to think was a bad thing, but a good luthier can make the into richer tone, great substain
And resonation.
one mistake I do believe many new ukers make is getting rid of ukes they cannot play...I try to keep all of mine, many times
many new ukers blame the ukulele for their short comings... as you get better you will be able to play ukes you couldn't or didn't like before...also they mature too and break in
becoming many times better sounding ukes.. I have nothing about newer ukes but Id rather stick to some with age and broken in too

Cheers Stan - I'll give that a try! Don't plan on parting with it but would like to get the best out of it.

mikelz777
10-26-2016, 07:52 AM
When I started this thread, bonding meant a couple of different things. An "emotional" attachment might be putting it strongly but with my first uke, the Lanikai, there are some sentimental feelings there. I was very excited to get it and it was my entry into the uke world. I might not feel sentimental about it if it didn't play so well. It has a feel I don't have with my other ukes and it sounds good for a cheap uke. As it was alluded to in another post, the test that I had a bond with it came when I had thoughts of selling it. I don't want to sell it and I love playing it.

With my 2nd uke, the Ohana, I had to work very hard to get it. I'm invested in it. It is a limited edition and at the time, I couldn't find one anywhere. I think I actively searched for over 9 months before I found one. It came with these ugly, boxy gold tuners which I hated so Ohana was kind enough to send me some silver, open gear tuners and matching ferrules for free. When I went to a tech to get them changed out, he didn't want to remove the gold ferrules already on the uke for fear of ruining the finish on the headstock. I was a bit wary at first but I told him to leave them in and just change out the tuners. Once I got it back, I thought the silver tuner pegs coming out of the gold ferrules looked pretty cool. I now had a one-of-a-kind, limited edition Ohana! On top of all that is the great back story of the sinker redwood used for the top of the uke. It too passed the test that I had a bond with it when I ask myself if I would consider selling it. The answer is no!

The Pono ATD I'm still on the fence about. The only thing I can really say might be against it is that it's a tenor. I'm still not sure if I'm a tenor guy. I haven't bonded to it at this point to where I would automatically think "no" if someone were interested in buying it. I'm not giving up on it yet. I'll have to spend some more time with it and then see what happens.

Teek
10-26-2016, 08:29 AM
I sold my first three and every sale was really difficult. My first uke was a circa 1930 all solid mahogany Harmony soprano. the sweetest little uke! I had it on eBay and removed it twice before I let it go. I had a Po Mahina cigar box concert and an early Pono PKT-1 all solid koa. I also sold a Mele tenor all solid koa that I still miss.

I think I get attached to things because I had an evil stepmother that used to "clean" my room when I was at school, and toss anything she wanted. I'd come home and my stuff would be gone. It was pretty traumatizing to a little kid. I also grew up poor. I was an artist for a few decades, so I am into form, lines, color, fit, finish, all the physical aspects and visual delight in objects. I also understand that it's just stuff, but that stuff often equals ground psychologically, and that gives many of us comfort in a groundless world.

That said my priciest uke is a Collings tenor and it's gorgeous and brilliant sounding, and I love Martin copies, yet I can't bond with it. I like my K.Yasuma Martin tenor clone better; it's a pretty faithful replica and very accessible to play somehow. I've tried to sell it numerous times and am glad it hasn't sold.

Also I'd say my white label Kamaka concert is safe from being sold down the river, she just rings in my heart, as is the Kanile'a custom tenor my ex gave me. I'm not really bonded to ithat one as I haven't had time to play it much, but it sounds fabulous. I sold my other Kanile'a tenor which I got from MGM and never wanted to let go of, because this one sounded just as nice and is worth a lot more.

Eventually I hope to get down to just the ones that feel like an old friend and make my heart sing whenever I pick them up.

Mivo
10-26-2016, 02:32 PM
Have you bonded with [all] your uke[s]?

No, and it's good that way as I would have kept too many. :D

For me, bonding is a gradual thing that happens (or not) over time. I have enjoyed all the ukuleles I bought, but when the initial newness wore off, only three of them have become "close" to me in the sense that I pick them up often and play them several times a week. There's a connection of sorts. In case of my Barron River tenor I first had to grow a bit as a player and become more experimental with tunings and strings before I fell deeply in love with it, so selling prematurely can be a mistake. I sold most of the ones that I liked but didn't bond with.

The three ukes that I have bonded with are the aforementioned Barron River tenor (with low-G and a wound C), a 1920s Lyon&Healy mahogany soprano (in re-entrant D tuning with Aquila 33U D tuning strings; tuning up C tuning strings didn't work for this instrument), and my Black Bear koa soprano in re-entrant C tuning (Living Water Strings).

I am still unsure about my new Kanile'a GL6 guitarlele, which is an amazing instrument, really impeccable craftsmanship, and I have a Famous FS-5G soprano on the way from Japan. I'll know in half a year or so whether I have bonded with them. :)

Iulia
10-27-2016, 04:20 AM
Really interesting thread.

I'm by nature very minimalist with possessions - I sell or give away anything that doesn't get used regularly. I love my little ohana, its probably something I'd try to grab if the house was on fire :D

But I have another instrument thats arguably better, beautiful, sounds nice, but it just doesn't touch me the same way. Weird.

stevejfc
10-27-2016, 06:54 AM
actually, I think the more appropriate term is.............ukulele bondage

Ukejenny
10-28-2016, 01:48 PM
Bonding with instruments is a lot of fun for me. I've been playing the same clarinet for almost 30 years, and it has been a little like a marriage. You fall in love; you fall out of love; you fall back in love. It happens over a span of years, or decades. But, that clarinet is a part of me.

I've also bonded with my ukulele. When I take it out of the case and start playing it, it is joyous. The honeymoon is over, but we are still going strong.

My other ukuleles are fun, but they are just flirtations when compared to my main player.

Nickie
10-28-2016, 03:02 PM
actually, I think the more appropriate term is.............ukulele bondage

You are so bad!

Papa Tom
10-28-2016, 04:35 PM
Not a fair question for me because I tend to bond with lots of things. My first uke was a $40 Johnson soprano and it's still my favorite. The ones I've acquired since then are better instruments, but they don't "call out" to me when I walk by them.

Uk3player78
10-29-2016, 05:54 AM
I may be a rare breed but from guitars to ukuleles i prefer just the one. I have one acoustic guitar and right now due to receiving a Koaloha concert i have two ukuleles.

I played a cheap Mahalo tenor for a year and really bonded with and enjoyed playing it despite selling an Uluru solid concert before it. I didn't bond with it at all.

I then played the Southern ukulele store branded solid mahogany (Aria ACU250) for a year before just getting the Koaloha. Normally i would sell in an out with the old in with the new habit but... I like the Koa/Mahogany concert set. The SUS uke has opened up nicely and i guess i have bonded enough to keep it.

I know already the Koaloha will never leave. Such a sweet sounding uke. Stunning looks too.

I try to be minimalist with possessions and sell what i don't use. All ukes in the past have went. Kala, Ohana, Mahalo, Makala etc. We shall see...